The summer transfer gossip has already started and the latest on the wire is that midfield, passing supreme, Xabi Alonso is set to leave Anfield in the summer to go to Juventus in Italy. It is said that Rafa will only let Xabi go for £16m.
I am caught in two minds about this possible transfer. I have been a huge fan of Alonso every since he joined us in 2004. His first season was amazing as he showed true quality especially with his ability to pass the ball. At that time, 2004 / 2005, I thought he was the best passer of the ball in Europe. The top memories I have of Xabi are his goal in Istanbul to make it 3 – 3 and those goals he scored from the half way line.
This past season though, Xabi did not have the best of seasons. I blame it on the foot injury he picked up. He missed so much of the season and when he came back from the injury he was not his normal self. As the season went on he regained his starting eleven place and started putting in some vintage Alonso performances of old.
There was a time I thought it was time for Xabi to leave Anfield as I thought maybe he had lost his touch but based on his end of season performances I could see that he still had a lot to offer us. I think the reason Rafa is willing to sell Xabi is because Rafa really wants to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa. If Barry comes to Anfield he would play in the role Alonso currently played and I can not see both Barry and Alonso being at Anfield at the same time.
If Rafa wants to get rid of Alonso he should only do so first when Barry has signed. Rafa should not take any risks right now and end up loosing Alonso to Juventus and then Barry doesn’t join us in the summer. We would really look like fools if that happens!
From a business perspective £16m would be good money for us but deep down I do not want to see Xabi leave. Who would you rather have: Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry?